In 2004, as Cyprus entered the European Union, research on public health was minimal and formal university graduate training programs on environmental and/or public health did not exist. Decisions with impacts on the health and wellbeing of the Cypriot population often had to be made without the benefit of evidence from epidemiological studies conducted in Cyprus or the region. Information on population exposures, behaviors and their likely health impacts was in short supply.
Cyprus’ late President Tassos Papadopoulos recognized the problem and contacted Dr. Barry Bloom, who then served as the Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health (now called the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health), to explore the possibility of establishing an institute in Cyprus, affiliated with Harvard, which could address Public Health issues in Cyprus and the region. Dean Bloom was as enthusiastic about this prospect as President Papadopoulos and working together they established the Cyprus International Institute for Environment and Public Health in 2004.
Harvard Cyprus Program (HCP)
The 2004 and 2009 agreements between the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and the Harvard Chan School had remarkable impact. From 2004 until 2014, the Harvard Cyprus Program established and ran the Cyprus International Institute for Environment and Public Health in association with the Harvard Chan School. In 2014 the Institute became independent and has operated since that time under the auspices of Cyprus University of Technology. In close collaboration with Harvard Chan School, the Harvard Cyprus Program established research programs in air pollution and health, water and health, cardiovascular epidemiology, smoking and health, diabetes and obesity, and meta-analysis. Sophisticated laboratories, using ICP/MS and GC-MS/MS, have been equipped and made functional. An advanced air pollution monitoring site has been established. More than one hundred alumni – from Cyprus, the Middle East, Northern Africa, Europe and the Americas — have graduated. More than one third of CII’s alumni have gone on to pursue doctoral programs (at Harvard, Yale, Michigan, for example) and now have taken positions as faculty members or researchers. Others have pursued careers in government and consulting in Cyprus and in other countries in the region.
Scholarships for advanced studies at Harvard Chan School of Public Health
The Harvard Cyprus Program Endowment Fund offers financial support for masters, doctoral and post-doctoral fellows from the greater Cyprus region who have been accepted for studies or research training at the Harvard Chan School in fields related to the environment and public health.
Information about the available training programs can be found on the Harvard Cyprus Program website. Information about the masters and doctoral programs can be found here. The Harvard Chan masters program is two years, and the Harvard Chan doctoral program is currently funded for up to four years. Post-doctoral positions are funded for 2-3 years.